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BPR 6Pack: Albert Castiglia, Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames, Karen Lovely, Walter Trout, Les Copeland & Honeyboy Edwards, Magic Slim & The Teardrops

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I’m a couple days late getting to these but let’s go ahead and take a listen to six songs from the most recent Blues Power Rankings, the weekly recap of the hottest albums and artists at blues radio. 

  1. Albert Castiglia – “My Baby Is Now On My Mind:” Castiglia’s album Keepin On hits stores tomorrow and this T-Bone Walker cover is one of my favorite moments on the record.  What really makes this song cook is the restraint he shows on either side of the deep-fried blues-rock guitar solo in the middle of the song.  Castiglia sings this with a countrified drawl over a muted, chorded riff and some low-key percussion. 
  2. Karen Lovely – “Sunny Weather:” This isn’t a prototypical blues song in construction or execution until the brief guitar solo kicks in but this is a great track from Still The Rain.  She sings with clarity and confidence without a lot of extraneous syllables or exerted moans or groans.  The song doesn’t demand it and she’s not inclined to showboat, making this song a pleasure to listen to and making it more effective elsewhere on the album when she does decide to reach for a little something extra. 
  3. Walter Trout – “No Regrets:” If you like your blues with a heavy dose of rock, Walter Trout is your man and “No Regrets” is a great track for you.  This is certainly a modern blues exercise and exhibition for Trout as guitar master but Kenny Aronoff’s explosive drumming and some deft organ work give additional weight and anchor.  Trout unleashes a torrent of radioactive guitar played with fury.
  4. Les Copeland feat. Honeyboy Edwards – “How’s That Drummer:”  Canadian guitarist/songwriter has written a song at his own expense, a little joke between he and living legend Honeyboy Edwards.  “How’s that drummer?” is the question Honeyboy asked Copeland each time the two saw each other, the story going that a drummer stole Copeland’s lady friend.  It’s an easygoing number with a nice Delta flavor coming from Honeyboy’s assist on the track.
  5. Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames – “Burnin’ Love:”  Dave Weld learned from one of my absolute blues heroes, J.B. Hutto.  Weld doesn’t have the voice or the same slash-and-burn slide guitar sound that his mentor did, but he has taken what he learned and carried the tradition onward on Burnin’ Love from Delmark Records. 
  6. Magic Slim & The Teardrops – “Mama Talk To Your Daughter:” A fun cover on Raising The Bar is this Slim’d version of J.B. Lenoir’s “Mama Talk To Your Daughter.”  Slim doesn’t flinch even though he’s 72 and probably doesn’t deal an awful lot with mamas and daughters.  The band tears through this at lightning speed and the rollicking call-and-response between Slim and the band on the chorus injects this with a spirit of fun.
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